Oryx – Oryx

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Album Review by S Felce

ORYX is a project by Palestinian Bashar Abed Rabbo and German Dirk Heibel. Oryx is Rabbo and Heibel’s idea of music without barriers, mixing traditional Arabic sounds with Western dance music. The result is quite interesting.

After last year’ explosion of Bollywood films, Eastern music seems more familiar and some of the songs could very easily fit into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical BOMBAY DREAMS. Overall the CD reminds me of Robert Miles’ dance pieces, with an Arabic flavour. But don’t let these last two comments overshadow or dismiss the originality of the work.

It is actually quite fascinating to hear how Arabic sounds mix perfectly together with the piano in songs like GIBRAN’S WISDOM and STARS OF THE ORIENT, or how an old Arabic song like LAISH LAISH YA JARA can become a catchy disco piece.

Overall, I am not sure about how much people’s taste can be “without barriers”, and at first listening the music seems a bit strange. But it is an interesting first project and I am sure it would work delightfully live.

3 stars